If you are approaching perimenopause or menopause, you may be noticing a shift in your body – how the weight is distributed. Whereas in our 20s, 30s and 40s most women have their fat in their hips, buttocks and thighs (where it helps to reserve fuel necessary for breastfeeding), as we hit the age of perimenopause and menopause – usually around age 40 – the fat gets redistributed to the belly area, particularly deep inside the tummy and becomes menopause belly. This leads to the muffin top – something I get asked about all the time!
If you don’t tackle menopause belly or this new mid-section weight gain, it can get out of control, and quickly! And the bottom line is it’s not healthy to have too much extra weight around your belly: A waistline larger than 35 inches on women is an indicator of health concerns like heart attack and diabetes.
Really it’s a two-pronged approach: Diet and Exercise!
When it comes to foods as we age, it is a good rule of thumb to focus on high-quality, whole, fresh foods as the basis of all your meals. Think of it as treating your body as well as you can now, for a healthy body for all the days and years to come! The more you care for and nurture yourself now, the healthier you will be (and feel) both physically and emotionally down the road! I am a firm believer in this, which is why I stick to the 80/20 rule: 80% of the time, I eat healthy – veggies and fruit take up most of my plate, with lean proteins and healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil and nuts making up the rest. This not only helps me stick to a healthy eating plan, but it actually curbs my cravings for the bad stuff! But that doesn’t mean I don’t indulge – I love sweet treats and snacks like everyone else. I just keep them in moderation, or at 20%. And I find this to be a really easy and effective way to make sure I am giving back to my body, but also indulging every now and then. A win-win! If you need some guidance on a healthy eating plan, check out the free trial of my 10-Week Plan, which includes a customized eating plan. You can choose low-sodium, vegetarian, gluten-free and more, and get three meals and two snacks for every day! It’s a great way to enjoy your food while not having to make the decisions about what to eat – perfect for sticking to a healthy eating plan!
Now to exercise – the best way to tackle that menopause belly muffin top is through a whole body workout along with some targeted ab exercises. Aim for three to four days of cardio each week, and two to three days of strength training. My Denise Austin.com membership gives you access to hundreds of cardio and strength training workouts, including aerobics, interval training, yoga cardio and more! It’s a great way to get motivated and stick with an effective cardio plan, no matter what your level of fitness!
Then add in some targeted waistline/ab exercises to really work the muscles in your midsection, to help tone and firm up the front and sides of the waistline. Here is a great Muffin Top workout and Menopause Belly workout for your abs – all new, just for you!
So if you want to tackle menopause belly and that dreaded muffin top, try the suggestions above, and sign up for a free trial of my Plan – you will love it!
Let’s get fitter, together – inside and out,
It’s time to firm our abdominals to tone and tighten up our core. Here’s some easy exercises that you could do to strengthen your abdominals. Let’s take a deep breath together. Inhale and exhale. Beautiful. One more deep breath. Inhale and exhale. And now let’s just stretch to the side. Lift your hips up and over. Stretch out through the waistline. Elongate the spine to stretch and tone through the waist, through the lift of the chest. That’s it. A full body reach and come down. And now let’s stretch over for side body stretch. Hold the stretch. That’s it. And now slowly come up and switch legs. The other leg. Go Up, lift up and overstretch through the rib cage. Elongate the spine. Open up through the chest. That’s it. Stretch through the side body. That’s it. Great. And come down and now up and over to the other side and stretch.
Elongate the back. Stretch through the waistline. Look up so you really feel that extra stretch and relax. And now let’s begin our abdominal workout. Sitting up nice and tall. Thinking about good posture. Had to take it down all the way down and lift your legs all the way up. Now slowly lift your hips up and release. Now you’re working the lower tummy. If you need to relax your hamstrings, bend your knees slightly. That’s okay. You’re working below the belly button right now. The area we all need to target. Tone, flatten the lower belly. That’s it. Initiate this movement through the lower tummy. We got one more. That’s great. And now slowly bring your elbows all the way up and lift baby lifts. Ready and lift up and lower. Beautiful. Now you’re working the front of your abs to flatten the belly. Beautiful. Flat in the belly.
Press your lower back into the mat. That’s it. Two more. Last one. Hold it up, baby pulses. lift, lift. Hold it up. That’s it. Beautiful. And relax and let’s go to the side of our waistlines. Now lift up, hold it up, reach it up. Stomach is in, back is flat. That’s at work. The size of the waistline and release. Let’s now stretch the legs. Try to do it all the way up, up, up, up, up, up, and release. One more time. Lift it straight up, up, up, waistline, up. That’s it. Curving through the waist and come back down. Let’s go to the other side. The first one, elbow down. That’s it. And lift up. Hold it up. That’s it. Tighten up through the belly. Tighten the core, the waistline, the oblique muscles, and come down. One more. Lift up, up, up. Pull it up, and then tell me tight.
Pull the belly button in and relax. Can you go all the way up now? All the way up, up, up, up. Hold it up there and relax. Beautiful. And now I slowly want you to relax your neck. Relax your shoulders, bring one leg, all the way up, the air. Place one hand behind you. Lift the other hand here and baby pulses up with the use of your arm. Hold yourself up. That’s it. It really aids in. Really lifting through the tummy. Lift and pull yourself higher belly button down and flat. That’s beautiful. Great exercise. Now we turn it to the side and release to the side. Great and twist for the obliques. Last one and release and just switch legs all the way up. And now slowly bring your hand on your thigh and twist and release. That’s it. Lift and lower it. Twist and release.
twist for the waistline. That’s it. And hold it up there. Little baby pulses. Lift, lift up, Chin Up. That’s it. As if you have an apple or an orange between your chin and chest. Hold it up. Their little baby lifts up, up, up. Hold it. Bring your legs together, lift your chest up slightly. That’s it. And reach for your toes. Reach up. Beautiful. Now you’re flattening that belly. Now you’re really target Tony. Bend your knees. If you have tight hamstrings, that’s okay. You’re still getting the belly to wear. To flatten the belly. Breathe you exhale, exhale and flatten the belly. Last one, and release. Beautiful. And now slowly roll up. Let me see your smiling face. Inhale and exhale to the side. Bring your elbow down and stretch. Lift up and over to the other side and stretch. That’s it. And now turn your body to the side, twist and to the other side, twist beautiful, and take a deep breath. Inhale and exhale. And there you have a quick, easy abdominal workout. Your core crushers.